Photo: Lobby Card Art for Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”
Director Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy” whose cast members include Academy Award nominee Burt Young and legendary supermodel Kelly Le Brock, with stand up comic Greg Kritikos as Charlie, had initially been planned for a December 2019 release date, but many factors pushed the film’s planned opening to the Spring of 2020, then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and every film was held back as theaters across the globe and the US closed.
Above: Academy Award nominee Burt Young play Luca in Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”. Amongst his many famous roles, Mr. Young plays Paulie, Rocky Balboa’s brother in the movie Rocky
Above: “Chrome: The Series” streaming on Amazon Prime – Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/TEeFKldV9OU
In the gap, Timothy Hines released the first chapter of his long anticipated hyper action mini series “Chrome: The Series” on Amazon Prime with Katie Erin Tomlinson, Natasha Coppola-Shalom, Susan Goforth, Anthony Piana and Dave Morrissey Jr. to glowing reviews and a huge audience.
“We were very pleased with the response to ‘Chrome: The Series’ when we debuted on May 30th,” says producer Susan Goforth. “Amazon has an audience of a 150 million viewers and Amazon gave us strong support. They are very open to indie films which gives them an edge over their competitors in presenting a diverse and rich selection for the viewers. We were so happy when right away we saw ‘Chrome’ gain 93 million streaming minutes. It was proof of concept to us that we could release this way. And nearly all reviews from critics and viewers have been over the roof. I’m virtually giddy at its success.”
Above: Producer actress singer songwriter Susan Goforth with colleague Randy Rogel, creator of The Animaniacs and Tiny Tunes for Steven Spielberg
Above: Domenico Del Giacco as mobster Mikey Greco in Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”.
Hines previous unreleased movie that he shot, “Charlie Boy”, executive produced by Dominick Martini, was shopped to most of the major studios, Universal, Sony, Netflix, mid-range companies like Imagine Entertainment, A24, Relativity as well as a host of mini and international distributors.
Above and below: Pascal Yen-Pfister plays the perfectionist photographer Lazlo in “Charlie Boy”. Yen-Pfister has an extensive career including a reoccurring character on “The Blacklist”
“We attracted much interest in the picture,” reveals director Hines, “and twice we got to contract. But many factors ultimately kept ‘Charlie Boy’ waiting in the wings. This is not unusual. And just as the pandemic was settling in, we were a heartbeat from closing the right deal.”
Above: Nicky Sunshine who plays Pizza Restaurant owner Taneesha in Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy” is an incredible multi talented actress, stand up comic and radio personality with the show: Waking Up With Sunshine, Saturdays from 9AM to 12PM Hosted by Nicky Sunshine on 108 Soul NY
Producer Susan Goforth adds, “The public has little to no idea how long a film’s gestation period is before it hits the theaters and streaming. From concept to the screen, the average independent film that is worthy of distribution typically will take two to three years to land before a wide audience from its initial conception. It’s not uncommon for movies to take even more time. “Mad Max: Fury Road” took nearly a decade to bring to the screen. “Avatar,” years in production and post.”
Pictured: Giovanni Celentano who plays mobster and club owner Tony Keys in Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”
Above: (L) Peter Plano and Teddy Smith on set of Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”
“By the time the general public sees a film in wide release it has almost always played at a variety of festivals such as Cannes, Berlin International Film Festival, Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival and so on. Unless the quality independent production was initiated from a studio, the picture has to be quarterbacked through a labyrinth of markets and screenings for literally dozens of distributors. And there’s a pecking order. You mostly can not sell your movie to a downline International Distributor first and then be picked up by a major.”
Above: “Charlie Boy” Executive producer Dominick Martini with Academy Award nominee Burt Young who plays Luca in Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”
Above: Dawson Bowie, nephew of superstar rocker David Bowie plays a disgruntled punk in Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”
However that’s exactly what happened with Timothy Hines previous movie, “10 Days in a Madhouse,” which was first picked up early by family-run mini distributor TriCoast and ultimately after many festivals beginning with Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival Celebrating Women and Diversity, Red Carpet screenings and a run at the Academy Awards, did the movie wind up first with Broadgreen Pictures who was having a business Renaissance at the time, and then wound up with NBC Universal Home Entertainment which placed the movie everywhere; Walmart, Target, Best Buy in addition to all the major online platforms worldwide.
Above: Susan Goforth escorts Caroline Barry as Nellie Bly to the courthouse for commitment to Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum for Women in Timothy Hines’ historical thriller “10 Days in a Madhouse”. Below: posters for Timothy Hines’ “10 Days in a Madhouse”
Above: Timothy Hines’ 10 Days in a Madhouse, courtesy NBC Universal Home Entertainment.
“’10 Days in a Madhouse’ was a unique case, though,” director Hines says, “It wasn’t just the film’s quality that gave it legs. Even though we had the magnificent Christopher Lambert, a beautiful cameo by Kelly Le Brock, and superb performances from the cast, we had to climb the ladder right along side every other indie film made at the time. But what helped our movie stand out was timing. The movie is an entertaining drama with women’s rights at its core. The true life story of Nellie Bly who, working for Joseph Pulitzer, heroically got herself arrested and committed as a mental patient to Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum For Women, to investigate abuse from within. Some 25,000 plus indie movies (until the pandemic) are made every year. Most of which will never be seen by more than a very limited to no audience. We are fortunate that ’10 Days in a Madhouse’ is still increasing its audiences with every cycle as new viewers discover it.”
Above: Christopher Lambert as Dr. E.C. Dent, the head of Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum for Women in Timothy Hines’ “10 Days in a Madhouse”
Goforth muses, “Upcoming filmmakers and actors think that because they made a good movie, they will just get the praise and rewards their picture deserves. But it’s not like that. If you are ever fortunate enough to be screened by a major (nearly impossible) for distribution, there are many, many additional hoops of flames the film has to pass through before it is picked up.”
Above: At the New York premiere of “10 Days in a Madhouse” at the AMC Empire 25 Theater in Times Square New York, (L) director Timothy Hines, (C) star Caroline Barry, (R) co-star Christopher Lambert.
Indeed, once a studio decides the movie “product” is a good fit for the brand, then the real vetting begins. Every major cast member is heavily scrutinized in every aspect of their lives, public presence, and social media presence. Too many times in past years did a movie hit the screens only to find out one of the cast or a director was toxic for a wide audience. An example is the Disney movie “Powder,” that was days from release when news broke that the director was a convicted child molester. Disney didn’t do their homework and the investment and all the work of a thousand artists was destroyed in a minute. The film was a total financial loss and Disney got a big black eye.
Above: Natasha Coppola-Shalom recording the voice of Repairbot Perdix for “Chrome: The Series”
Above: Natasha Coppola-Shalom, who plays Anna, a celebrity fan in “Charlie Boy”
“You can bet, after that,” says “10 Days in a Madhouse” co-producer Donovan Le, “that every studio did a deep reach on all principals of EVERY movie they put out. If you are going to have your movie released by Universal or Disney/Fox you can bet you will be fully screened for any kind a criminal background as well as everything you have ever said on the internet. Ground investigators will even talk to people from your past and more. That’s just the way it is. The size of the financial investment is simply too large to overlook things and get bitten later.”
Above: On set of “Charlie Boy” – (L to R) Adam Gabel, director Timothy Hines, assistant director Katerina Olkhovaya, Dominick Martini and Colin Buckingham
Above: Teddy Smith is Detective Frank in “Charlie Boy”
“You have to have nerves of steel, enormous stamina and courage to push a real movie through to a real distribution,” adds Timothy Hines, “Selling a movie is a repetitive and emotionally challenging experience and not everyone can hold up through the whole process. I don’t think I have ever gotten a movie out without at least one actor with unrealistic or simplistic expectations to jump ship and turn on their own movie. The tensions are high. People’s careers are on the line and actors have to eat.”
Above: Heather Cole who play Sherry, a waitress with dreams of opening a dance studio in “Charlie Boy”
Being in a movie and then waiting sometimes three and even five years to see the return and praise of their work isn’t for everyone. They can lose perspective and throw a monkey wrench into a perfectly valid process of selling a movie and ironically hold up or destroy the deals when they lash out or abandon their own movie.
Above: Hysterical veteran stand up comic Janice Messitte and director Timothy Hines take a moment to pose for a photo on the set of “Charlie Boy”
Even big stars can miss the cues. Burt Reynolds, on seeing the first cut of the hugely successful film “Boogie Nights” was confused by the film’s style in that it was replicating a 70’s movie and mistook it for just being bad. He fired his agent and publicly slammed and distanced himself from the movie publicly. The film was a huge hit initially bringing in $43 million on a $15 million dollar budget as well as much acclaim, making its investment back many times over. But Reynolds was all but shut out of the marketing and publicity due to his initial meltdown.
Above: Burt Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg in a scene from “Boogie Nights”
Above: Mamiko Nakatsugawa plays exotic dancer, Silky Sato in “Charlie Boy”
“It’s sad, but that’s the nature of dreams coming true,” says Goforth. “It isn’t just talent, it’s bigger and more complex than that.
Above: Colin Buckingham plays mobster Vinnie Gallo in “Charlie Boy”. Below: Dave Morrissey Jr. plays Shakes, a man with a past, in “Charlie Boy”
Goforth continues, “My advice to actors is to sit on the sidelines and support your film if you ever want to be hired by anyone again. After badmouthing a movie that so many put their hearts into is a career bridge burner. What executive would want to hire a cast member who publicly attacked their own last movie? What would make the next producer believe that the actor wouldn’t do the same to their movie. It’s heartbreaking and one of the prime reasons I have ever thought of quitting. I always say it’s often not the film or its quality that destroys its success, it is the human element, the fears of those who are not experienced or too wound up that makes them lunge at those who believed in them the most. It is pointless to try to convince them. They simply don’t understand the nature of the beast.”
Above: The talented and charming Joanne Scorcia plays female lead Arianna in “Charlie Boy”. Ms. Scorcia is a phenomenal comic and producer who regularly performs at The World Famous Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, CA
Above: George N. Mikedis, who plays Joanne Scorcia’s son Leo in “Charlie Boy” with director Timothy Hines between takes while filming “Charlie Boy”
Famously it was reported that the actor who was in the Darth Vader costume in the first “Star Wars” movie, David Prowse, panicked that he was invisible because all the credit was going to the actor who voiced Vader, James Earl Jones, so Prowse attacked George Lucas publicly and released a copy of the script to “The Empire Strikes Back” before the movie was released in a vindictive attack on the filmmakers. What Prowse missed was the big picture. He would have been hired, rehired and revered for the rest of his life. Instead he is banned from all “Star Wars” events and conventions and NO studio would hire him after that.
Photo: Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars”, courtesy Lucas Arts
“I’m very proud of ‘Charlie Boy’,” beams Timothy Hines, “It was an enormous challenge filming for many weeks on the streets of Astoria Queens in the hot season. 100 degree days through much of the shooting, many scenes which took place outdoors. Not to mention I was yet to be diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and I collapsed and was rushed to the hospital over a dozen times. But it works. It got high marks with test audiences.”
Producer Dominick Martini talks about “Charlie Boy” actually being helped by the timeout, “It’s one of those films that initially was all about one character, but the talent of the cast, filled out mostly by working stand-up comics and consulate professional actors, evolved in post production and became more about the whole community.”
Above: Executive producer Dominick Martini on set of Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”
Reflects Timothy Hines, “The cast kept contributing all kinds of fresh ideas to support the narrative which, initially, I had to make hard choices to exclude some truly funny and great moments in the interest of production schedule. So a small silver lining came from the pandemic in allowing my idle hands to turn back to the picture to make additional changes and polishes and include moments that hit the cutting room floor. In many ways the lockdowns only gave us time to make the movie better. It has evolved so much since our initial shopping of the film to the studios that we are talking about even changing its name to reflect the new depths we have discovered. And when the audiences finally do get to see it, they are going say, ‘It’s funnier that sh-t.’ No question.”
Above: Susan Goforth with Sandy Chila who wrote the theme song together “Tomorrow’s Today”, courtesy Warner Chappell for Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”. Sandy Chila co-wrote songs for Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.
“Tomorrow’s Today”, “Charlie Boy” theme song, written by Susan Goforth and Sandy Chila, performed by Maedi, sign interpretation performance by Amelia Hensley. Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/K7y5x4hMx7s
Above: Annunziato Carbone as Tommy G. an ex-mob grifter turned actor who thinks he’s a dead wringer for Tom Hardy in Timothy Hines’ “Charlie Boy”
Hines, Martini and Goforth are tight lipped about current deals in the works and plans for the “Charlie Boy” release. But with over 60+ years of experience in the business between them, you can bet there is zero question the movie will see the light of day, in the theaters when they truly reopened, or baring that, in a timely manner, major online, Cable and TV outlets. The principals of the production, like the majors, are intensely looking into their options for the optimal release date, realistically not before 2021, which is what most major studios are targeting for their held up major releases.